Every employer expects that after the long search for the right candidate for a particular role, the result will be excellent performance from the first day onwards. That may not be the case.
You may realize that a candidate is falling short of expectations a few weeks in the company. While you may be tempted to assume that you hired the wrong candidate and think of terminating the contract as early as possible, that is not the best move.
As the best HR firm in Kenya, we are out to ensure you have the best candidates that not only match your preferences, but are also an excellent fit in the company.
Here are some tips that can help you diagnose the cause of underperformance amongst your employees.
1. Communicate your expectations clearly
As cliché is this may sound, communication remains an essential pillar in smooth flow of operations and the achievement of goals. However, some managers communicate ambiguously or with incomplete statements and leave the people to figure out what they are supposed to do.
It is therefore important that you make your desired results clear, especially with the young employees. Clarity eradicates any instances of misunderstanding or missing out specific details and need for attending to the same issue over the same cause in future.
2. Examine your past experiences
As hard as this may be to believe, sometimes the cause of underperformance is a missed concept in the company. Examining your past experiences with new employees in particular departments or in general can hint about the cause and the appropriate step to take.
3. View the performance from different angles
There are many ways of measuring an employee’s performance. This indicates that if the results are put on one scale frequently, with minimal to no attempts of looking at them from different angles, the employee may look like a bad hire.
On the other hand, using multiple ways of measuring the performance can clearly show the candidate’s personal and professional profiles for a good judgment. With such information, you can get insights on how to measure the performance in future in a way that suits everyone and clearly shows the impact made over time.
4. Assess the close team members and supervisor
The environment has a major impact on one’s performance. One of your jobs as a leader is to ensure that the environment is good enough for the people for the goals to be achieved on the stipulated time or earlier. Therefore, if any or all the close team members or the supervisors are discriminative, abusive, or uncooperative, there is no doubt that such may reflect in the performance. While at it, also consider whether the tools available are assisting the people to handle the tasks as expected.
5. Examine other factors that relate to performance
This includes their attitude towards the job, the workplace, and the people, willingness to learn, patience, commitment, response to failure, and others. Such factors are as essential for excellent performance as the skills combination.
6. Inquire about the cause
Sometimes assessing your communication skills, quality of onboarding process, and the environment may not give you the answers on why an employee could be underperforming. In that case, proceed to inquire what could be holding the employee back. You may be surprised to learn that some causes can be resolved quickly. It could be a personal matter that needs quick address for the person to focus, guidance, more time, more time handling a project, and others.
Underperformance is not always indicative of a bad hire. Therefore, rather than getting into a cycle or hiring, firing, and hiring, examine the matter keenly.